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A CHANGE OF HEAD FOR HEART AND LUNG As Imperial welcomes Professor Tony Newman Taylor as new Head of the NHLI, it says goodbye to Professor Malcolm Green, who retired at the end of March. Reporter's Alex Platt talked to Professor Green about his career, plans for retirement and choice of tie. Professor Malcolm Green began his career at Oxford University followed by St Thomas' Medical School. He was appointed consultant physician in 1975 at St Bartholomew's and Royal Brompton Hospitals and continued at RBH until retirement, with academic secondments including Dean of the NHLI, Head of the British Postgraduate Medical Federation, and a spell as Head of R&D for the NHS. Throughout his career, he has led a research group focusing on respiratory physiology and respiratory muscle function in health and when affected by disease. On the creation of the Imperial College School of Medicine in 1997, Professor Green was appointed Vice Principal for Postgraduate Medicine and Campus Dean at St Mary's. In what he describes as "challenging times", he saw the pre-clinical school move to South Kensington, leaving St Mary's "bereft". His determination led to major refurbishment of the buildings and academic facilities at St Mary's, driven by his strategic focus on creating a world class research centre for infection and immunity. Appointed Head of the NHLI in 2001, Professor Green coordinated its research strategies across six campuses, consolidating the financial position of the division, which has grown to the size of a small university with 55 professors, 500 members of staff and an annual turnover of nearly £30 million. He describes the biggest tasks as: "Getting people to work together across Imperial to maximise the benefits of this incredibly scientifically rich College, while protecting scientists from the ever flowing tide of academic bureaucracy and regulation." Throughout his career, Professor Green has become well known at the College for his distinctive choice of tie featuring the red balloons of the British Lung Foundation logo. As founder of the charity in 1985, Chairman of 10 years, then President, he explained: "I do have more than one of the ties. The balloon is the logo of the Foundation and its outline makes "O2", which is of course essential to life! I've worn a tie with this design since it was created in 1985." Despite missing the "stimulus and excitement of developing and implementing academic strategy and all the wonderful colleagues" he has worked with over the years, Professor Green sees his retirement as a chance for new activities and adventures. He said: "I am discovering a whole new world out there. I'm enjoying having time to pursue my passions for travel, sailing and skiing, and my family. It's refreshing to have the space to take advantage of so many opportunities, but I shall be staying in touch with the medical and academic worlds as well." Finally, when asked what advice he would give Professor Newman Taylor, Professor Green's only recommendation is to 'enjoy'. "Medical research is in a very exciting phase and there will be some amazing outcomes over the next ten years. Where better to be involved than in the most stimulating and exciting scientific organisation in the country?" he said.
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